Tuesday, January 12, 2010

if you drop it, it doesn’t break

i had a meeting earlier this week with an old friend who is a job developer. when we started making plans for a future meeting, i asked his leave to go pick up my laptop so that i could update my schedule. in response to my request he picked up his plain black daytimer – as i’ve seen him do before a class of job seekers many times before – dropped it on the table and said: ‘why don’t you get you one of these? if you drop it, it doesn’t break.’

over the past few years I’ve explored the rich devotional practices of diverse christian traditions. i’ve loved the lectio, prayed the way of a pilgrim, learned the spirituality of cleaning toilets at l’arche and have worked to make many of these practices my own.

however, recently i’ve found myself returning to the practices that were prescribed in my youth – namely, ‘read your bible, pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow!’ i haven’t returned to these practices to assuage personal guilt,* but because that spiritual ground has been composted, tilled and nurtured by my forbears and, in a very real sense, this devotional practice feels like home.

on several occasions recently, i’ve heard that jonny baker – an alt.worship leader in Britain – talks about his path as that of a ‘loyal radical.’ i haven’t read baker at length on that topic, but that path sounds a lot like my own.

* at least I hope not!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


“…for these reasons I named my truck Ghost Dancing, a heavy-handed symbol alluding to the ceremonies of the 1890s in which the Plains Indians, wearing cloth shirts they believed rendered them indestructible, danced for the return of the warriors, bison, and the fervor of the old life that would sweep away the new. Ghost dances, desperate resurrection rituals, were the dying rattles of a people whose last defense was delusion – about all that remained to them in their futility.”
–William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways

There are Sundays when my worship is compelled by confidence in Scripture, Christian tradition and the Godhead’s presence. However, there are plenty of other Sundays when standing to sing, reciting the creed and ingesting Jesus feels more like a desperate resurrection ritual than anything else. My prayer is that, whether I shuffle forward in desperation or step smartly with confidence, I will continue to dance*.

* in a completely metaphorical sense, mind you.


took me over four hours to piece myself together. must be a metaphor, story or sermon illustration in there somewhere.